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Mega Bloks Black Pearl conversion side by MrVergee Mega Bloks Black Pearl conversion side by MrVergee
The is a sideshot of the converted Balck Pearl.
:iconsandtroll:
Sandtroll Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2016
Are these custom sails? I don't recognize them.
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:iconmrvergee:
MrVergee Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016
Hi Sandtroll

Thanks for your interest in my ship conversions. All the links you sent me have actually been an inspiration for my work.

The veneer sheets I use are a great material to work with. As you  probably already know, the first thing you have to do is look for ways to create even surfaces on the ship. You want to make the deck as flat and as big as possible. That sometimes means filling up holes (with mega bloks bulding blocks or popsickles) or even cutting out parts that stick out. Once I've decided what the deck is going to look like, I make a paper template of it, making sure it fits perfectly in the available space (including holes where the masts have to be). Then I copy this template to the veneer sheet (I use oak now, but I used other kinds before, I don't think it matters that much which kind you use). When the veneer sheet is cut out, I make sure it fits (it usually needs some finetuning around the edges). Then I carve out the planks, which is often the most time consuming part of the process. This also undermines the stability of the veneer sheet, so unless you have a very flat underground to stick it to, you  might want to stick a sheet of thin cardboard to the back side. If you're not going to repaint the entire ship, it is best to paint the veneer before applying it to the ship. I have used woodstain for some of my boats, because it is super easy and fast to apply and it shows the wood grain pattern of the veneer perfectly.

Apart from creating the even surfaces, I also give a lot of thought to the position of the forecastle, the poop deck and the cabin underneath. With the 'Empress', which had like a two-layered cabin in the back, I reworked this to make a one-layered poop deck with a higher front wall (big enough  to fit a 'door' in, but this one doesn't open, nor does the cabin). 'The Black Pearl' had its cabin raised, because I wanted it to stick out high enough above the main deck, so that the door could open above that level. I raised the back cabin with Mega Bloks building stones (I think four of five stones high) and constructed a new part of the hull in foam core. I also did a lot of work on the inside of the Black Pearl cabin. I cut out the bunk beds, and put veneer on the inner walls as well. But my biggest issue were the windows. The walls are actually quite thick around these window parts. I considered cutting all the plastic out and opening up the windows for real, but I finally decided against that. First of all it would have been very hard to execute that (since the plastic is so hard and at these angles it would be nearly impossible to get the job done) and it would also have robbed me of the top of those walls, which I needed to secure the poop deck. So instead I recreated the window images on the inside wall. This also took a lot of time and work, but I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

As for the sails, my mother made them for me using the original black sails as a template. The cloth comes from a linen bag. The vertical brown lines were sewn upon it to give the sails some extra 'texture'. Again the result surpassed my hopes. These white sails give the ship a much fresher and more realistic appearance.

The opening door is hand-made from popsicle sticks and it hinges on a toothpick. Hand-making it was the only way to ensure that it fit.

The final part was repainting the entire ship. This was the first time I did this. With the other ships I always chose to keep the Original color and adapt the parts I added. But I was not fond of the simple black color, especially on this ship, which was to be my finest conversation to date. Again I'm happy I made the decision.

If you're converting more ships in the future, I would love to see the results online. Keep me posted on your progress. MrVergee
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:iconsandtroll:
Sandtroll Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016
I knew you had done a lot of work on these but now that you pointed out these changes and modifications, just wow! Your work was so seamless if you did not explain what you had done its not visible unless your looking at it. When I did my empress I pretty much left her as is, didn't do much effort in changing her as the game I was using her for worked out ok for the figure placement. I just added a deck and ladders.  I used plastic FOR SALE signs to reinforce the deck as PLASTICARD is expensive and I cant really find it around here. The 3 things that took me forever was first deciding what I wanted to do, guessing the sizes for cannons and decorations ( I must have purchased over $150 bucks worth of stuff in the course of a year, most of it the wrong size) and finally decking the floor with popsicle sticks. I would make a paper template like you suggested, trace it on the FOR SALE sign, then glue the sticks on it, then trim with sharp scissors. I also used stain gel, never really found colors that I really wanted. When I go the hardware store there is over 50 different stains and at $12-$20 each I cant go guessing around.

I am interested in how you raised your black pearl cabin. I have seen it done before, but looking for your pictures it looks like you did 3 panels under it? Both sides and a rear?   Also your windows look spot on. Another detail I would have never thought you added because it looks like it just belongs there and was part of the ship.

I have a ton of things to do this week but I know I will be trying to make a door and frame like you did, I really liked the idea and it looks perfect for the ship. I need to find the Veneer online as locally I don't think Ill find it and send out for a few sheets to test it out. Oak you suggested? and was it 0.08mm?

If your going to do more ships keep a look out for this board game: Pirate Battle ( Weapons and Warriors)


Here is what the cannons look like from that game ( After I painted them)
www.heroscapers.com/community/…

I am currently looking at several auctions on ebay right now to see if I can get a few spare cannons.
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